Symposia and Lectures



Spring Garden Symposium 2019
Saturday, March 23, 9am–4pm 

Join Fernwood to explore and imagine new possibilities and groundbreaking ideas about the future of gardens and gardening with special guest speakers and experts.

Ticket includes lunch by Chef Tim Carrigan.
Regular Symposium Package Menu: Gourmet salad/sandwich bar
with chips, fruit, and dessert

VIP Menu:
Baked caprese chicken served on fresh greens
with garlic dressing OR artichoke stuffed portabella
, and double fudge cake with raspberry coulis dessert

Coffee, hot tea, and water will be available throughout the day for all to enjoy. Snacks are available for purchase at the front desk.
Authors will be available to sign their books that will be on sale at the Sims Education Center.


Regular Symposium Package
Early registration special through March 15 | $100 (Members $80)
Register March 16–22 | $115 (Members $92)
Click here to register.

VIP Symposium Tickets
$126 per ticket (Members $105). Must register by March 15. 
Tickets included reserved front-row seating and a private lunch with Symposium speakers.
Click here to register. 


Guest Speakers 2017


President, Perfect Earth Project, NYC
Founder, fleurdetroit 
Senior Curator & Director of Outreach
Denver Botanic Gardens
Gardener, designer, founding director
of Chanticleer
, and author of Gardenlust


Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best New Gardens.

For three years, Chris Woods traveled the world seeking out contemporary gardens and found fifty of the best. With wit and humor, he describes the most arresting features in public parks in exotic locations like New Delhi and Dubai, mission-redefining botanic gardens in Chile and Australia, and the most enviable details of lavish private estates and gemlike city yards. Throughout, he reveals the fascinating people, plants, and stories that make these gardens so lust-worthy.

Born in London, England, Chris Woods, has lived in the United States since 1981. He has worked in the garden world as gardener, director and designer for 45 years. He is best-known for his work at Chanticleer in Wayne, PA, where he worked for 20 years.


In this time of increasing Eco Anxiety, there is something you can actually do, for free, at home, work or play. Try being PRFCT. Edwina von Gal will speak on the multiple health and environmental benefits of kicking the landscape chemical habit and how to get fantastic results without them.   


Principal of her eponymous landscape design firm since 1984, Edwina von Gal creates landscapes with a focus on simplicity and sustainability for private and public clients around the world. She has collaborated with architects such as Frank Gehry, Annabelle Selldorf, Maya Lin, and Richard Meier, on projects for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Richard Serra, Larry Gagosian, and many others in the design and art community. Her book "Fresh Cuts" won the Quill and Trowel award for garden writing.


Art and Architecture in the Garden

Phillip Morici will discuss Art and Architecture in the garden, focusing on successful installations and using large scale plantings to create major bones in the garden to showcase sculptures.

Phillip Morici has been active in the green industry for most of his life. HIs passion for the green world is rivaled only by his pursuits in the art world. Phillip brought his passions for art, design, and plants together when he founded fleurdetroit. Phillip also currently sits on the Cranbrook Board for the Art Museum Academy and just finished his services on the Art Advisory Board for the Beaumont Health system. Over the past year he has also been working with an intimate team, The Grounds Crew, to bring to Belle Isle Piet Oudolf’s genius in the form of a nearly 3-acre Oudolf garden.

Lessons from Garden Masters: Four Great Gardens and Lessons They Teach Us
In the course of his travels, Panayoti Kelaidis been lucky to visit some of the great gardens of the world. The variety of styles and techniques that gardeners use to create and maintain gardens of year round beauty are of special interest to him. Panayoti will share visits he’s made to a garden in the Czech Republic that’s built on a steep slope with cliffs, a tiny urban garden in Netherlands, an expansive suburban garden in Michigan and his favorite English garden. Each of these gardens has utterly distinct style, plant palette and scope—but all have take-away lessons for any gardener—beginner and expert alike.

Panayoti Kelaidis is a plant explorer, gardener and public garden administrator associated with Denver Botanic Gardens where he is now Senior Curator and Director of Outreach. He has designed plantings for many of the gardens at DBG, he is particularly noted for the plantings of the Rock Alpine Garden. He has introduced hundreds of native ornamentals from throughout the Western United States to general horticulture. He has taken seven collecting trips to Southern Africa, researching the high mountain flora there, as well as travels to the Andes, Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Mongolia), the Himalaya (from both Pakistan and China) as well as travels throughout much of Europe from Spain to Turkey and most recently, New Zealand.



Presented in Partnership with: 

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